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She wasn’t a pretty girl. All the while, she had fought hard to be conceived as something close to eye-candy, the highness of her heels going from one inch to three on a daily basis, changeable, iridescent in the shuddering hours of darkness. Too many times had the triumphant grin scared her through the mirrors with rounded corners, encircling her with false comfort, the night soon fading out, leaving the world supremely unaware of her existence, the light in her eyes resembling the afterglow of a moth dying once reaching its flame.
I remember clearly the night we first met, down the east corridor of the abandoned church. Her eyes were bleeding by the corners again. I’d seen her before, begging for vitamin K tablets from one of the guards. You see, even though we can run as fast as eighty miles per hour and hold our breaths for tens of minutes at a time, our bodies can become ticking bombs a few times a year if our genetic code gets messed up enough, that is, if one of our parents is human. It tends to weaken the blood, I suppose. Originally, we were designed not to need any extra. Our bodies were safe havens for blood from unknown sources, hell, that’s why they made us. It’s easier to call up an almost-human vessel of blood transfusion than to beg people give some of their own.
That’s what it said in the brochure. A vessel. I am a fucking vessel. Makes me think of something metallic in the shape of an egg with feet, like a space ship gone wrong. Could’ve at least told us what that would mean. Claire here is what you could call the bastard child of mixed blood. Everyone falls for a teacher sometimes. Her Dad used to be a famous professor in biology, emphasis on the used to be. If he’d been smart enough to practice a bit of self-restraint and kept it in his pants, he would still be alive. Talk about a fuck to die for. Everyone seemed to be having a secret obsession with miss Laury Allen. I’d only been four or five years old when seeing her at the market one day. She’d looked like a fairy princess with her long black hair and slightly spiky ears.
I felt bad to be staring at Claire like that. Without the slight disability she could have saved many lives. Ironic, isn’t it? Our killing in order to save lives. We were only supposed to get just enough blood to leave them alive but, you know, it’s hard to stop once you’re in the zone. I’ve made it a habit of counting up to thirty seconds before making myself stop. It only works half the time.

“Go on,” she said, throwing her hands up. “I’m not taking up the whole hallway. Move.”

“We have a stash, you know,” I whispered, straightening my collar as I took slow steps as though passing her.

“What?” she said, arching her eyebrows at me. She’d wiped the blood off the sides of her face but her eyelashes were still rich in red. 

“It’ll help with the bleeding.” I smiled sadly, handing my pen to her. “There’s five pills in there. But be careful, there still might be some ink at the bottom,” I murmured, looking ahead. “Peter has the same problem.”

I glanced at her to find her mouth open, her tongue wagging in search of words. “I—“

“Just take it,” I said sternly as I took another step forward, tucking her fingers around the black ballpoint pen. 

”She wasn’t a pretty girl.”



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